Researching the DNA
Genetic Genealogy can be very helpful solving challenges researching one’s family tree.
We’ve had an ongoing challenge to track our KERR ancestors out of Compton Township in Quebec and back to a specific place in Ireland. (This is our James Kerr married to Jane Henderson)
A few years ago my brother Bill donated a DNA sample for a 37 marker YDNA test at Family Tree DNA. In a rather serendipitous finding he matched 37 markers with a fellow with the exact same name, including middle name. The other Bill Kerr is in Ohio with roots back to Leicestershire, England.
There was an additional 37 marker match with another fellow, a CARR.
I contacted each and compared notes. It gave us new leads.
Last year we went fishing for more by upgrading to the 67 marker test. The same match with the same name was there out to the 67 markers (with 4 mismatches).
A fellow KERR researcher by the name of Betty near Lovell, Mass and I have been crossing paths in Quebec genealogy research for several years. We’d see each other on the forums and would compare our Kerr and Hendersons but couldn’t find a connection.
Betty found a living male cousin of hers with the KERR surname to donate to the DNA cause. That was this summer.
Alas, her KERRs don’t match mine.
But it is all good. A negative result means we won’t need to spend more time trying to get our two groups of Quebec Kerrs to connect.
I decided to get very serious about following up on the 67 marker match. I have Ohio Bill Kerr’s family tree in my “other researchers” database and I’m actively researching the line.
Ohio Bill is an experienced genealogist. He has spent considerable time on this line but unfortunately hasn’t found much more information. Between the two of us we hope to make some breakthroughs.
I decided I wanted to jump onto the DNA bandwagon too. Family Tree DNA has a sale on so I have ordered the autosomal DNA Family Finder test plus the mtDNA test.
The Family Finder test might find me new cousins, maybe some of them KERRS. The maternal line mtDNA might help rule some of them out as far as the KERR research goes. We’ll see how it goes.
Wish us luck